Student event will address skills shortage


AN event will be held at Plantworx 2015 to address a shortage of skills and encourage more youngsters into the construction equipment industry.

On the final afternoon of the exhibition, on 4th June next year, event organisers, in association with the CPA (Construction Plant-hire Association), are inviting students and teachers from schools and colleges to visit the show and get a taste of the industry.

The Plantworx team took its inspiration from Richard Noble OBE, the pioneer of the Bloodhound SSC (Super Sonic Car) Project, who hosted the CPA’s ‘Stars of the Future’ Plant Mechanic Apprenticeship Awards presentation, at the Plantworx 2013 event.

Mr Noble said, “There is a serious problem finding engineers in the UK. We are really bad at introducing engineering to children in this country. We need to build and develop these skills on a huge scale, but at present our education system is not producing what manufacturing and engineering need. The problem is that not that many people know this.”

Mr Noble believes that involving children at an early age with schemes such as the Bloodhound project will inspire them to think of engineering as a career choice.

The Plantworx team hope that by inviting students to attend the exhibition and seeing machinery in ‘real working site conditions’, talking to machine specialists and operators it will encourage their interest in the construction equipment industry – whether it be as a plant mechanic, an operator or an engineer.

A survey published by PwC has highlighted just how important it is to encourage young blood into our sector. PwC economists have predicted that there could be as many as 100,000 jobs on the cards for industry sectors by 2020. Jobs comprise 50,000 new UK manufacturing jobs, 40,000 jobs in transport and 17,400 new jobs in construction!

Another published report from CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) suggests that there will be 13.5 million job vacancies in the UK over the next 10 years, but only seven million school and college leavers.